Web site gives information on shopping centers with just the click of a mouse
CUMBERLAND, Sep 20, 2009 (Cumberland Times News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A "windshield survey" of Allegany County's shopping center tenants turned into local government's newest online interactive feature.
At www.alleganyworks.org , the Web site of the county Department of Economic Development, staff have combined a database of retail employers at active shopping centers with a prospective tenant's need for available office space, location, owner information and other important details in the recruiting business.
"There is a massive amount of information" now available, said Matt Diaz, director of the county's economic development office, during a public work session Thursday with the county commissioners.
Number-cruncher David Nedved and economic development representative Jeffrey Barclay worked with county geographic information system modeling and mapping specialists Elizabeth Stahlman and Greg Hildreth to put a report drafted by Nedved -- a series of statistics -- into a high-tech wonderland of business recruitment and retention information.
"It's so cutting-edge, so advanced, that the (software) company has featured it on its Web site," Nedved said of ESRI and its rich, spatial flex viewer program.
A user can search by location or tenant type. Nedved demonstrated how finding a hair salon in different locations is now easier than ever.
"The beauty of this is how absolutely quick this is," Nedved said, because of a cache system that allows the browser to retain previously downloaded information.
Nedved viewed the Country Club Mall in LaVale and, with the click of a button, zoomed in a little closer. As a user's cursor floats over a business space, a picture and general information of the store appears in a bubble. The project builds off a similar effort long used on the mall's Web site, www.shopcountryclubmall.com. There, users can pass their cursor over a store's site on a mall diagram and view a photo of the store's entrance. With a single click, store specials, employment opportunities and other information becomes available.
Diaz said the newest features, available online now, would be attractive to both county stakeholders and those who might be looking at the area to relocate.
To try out the interactive map and features yourself, log on to www.alleganyworks.org. Click on "Shopping Centers" under the featured resources section.
Contact Kevin Spradlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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